Hall of Famer Maxine Brown Russell Dead at 87
Maxine Brown Russell, who earned admittance into the Country Music Hall of Fame as a member of the Browns, has died at the age of 87.
According to a press release, Russell died at Bowman Hospice in Little Rock, Ark., on Monday (Jan 21) after suffering complications from heart and kidney disease. Her family was by her side at the time of her death.
Brown was best known to country music fans as a member of the Browns, along with her brother, Jim Ed Brown, and her sister Bonnie. The trio shot to fame in the 1950s with a string of hit singles that included "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow," "I Take the Chance," "Just as Long as You Love Me," "Money," "I Heard the Bluebirds Sing," "Would You Care" and "Beyond the Shadow." They scored their biggest hit in 1959 with "The Three Bells," which reached No. 1 in both country and pop. The Browns were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1963, but by 1967 Bonnie and Maxine had decided to retire, and Jim Ed Brown became a solo act.
Russell was awarded the Ella Dicky Literary Award in 2012 for her 2005 autobiography, Looking Back to See. The Browns were also inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Walkway of Stars and the Missouri Walkway of Stars, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Country Music Hall of Fame. The trio were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Maxine was the last living member of the Browns. Jim Ed Brown died after a battle with cancer in June of 2015. Just months after that, Bonnie Brown was diagnosed with a different form of lung cancer. She died in July of 2016.
Maxine Brown Russell is survived by two children, Jimmy Russell (Mary) and Alicia Short (Curtis); six grandchildren, Caitlin, Daniel, Meredith, Eva, Patrick, and Katherine; and two great-grandchildren, Atlas and Aina. Funeral services are pending.
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